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Tetsuya Naito beat Jeff Cobb in the semi-main event at Destruction in Kobe to retain his slot in the main event at Wrestling Kingdom 18 on Jan. 4,
The match took place as a result of Cobb beating Naito during G1 Climax 33. After Naito won the tournament, Cobb confronted Naito backstage and challenged him to put his main event spot on the line. Naito did not accept right away, but Cobb eventually was able to get Naito to put his main event slot at Wrestle Kingdom 18 on the line.
The match started off with Cobb countering Naito’s signature manuevers duringt he early going. Cobb managed to block Naito’s signature tornado DDT and Gloria during the early going, but Naito also had an answer for Cobb’s siganture offense, as he was able to avoid a standing moonsault from Cobb.
Cobb tried to send a message duringt the early going by hitting Naito’s signature corner combination, but Naito got on track a short time later and hit it on Cobb to a nice ovation from the fans. As the match wore on, neither man could hit their finish. Cobb went for Tour of the Islands multiple times, but was never ever to land it. Naito went for his finisher as well, but Cobb used his strength to block multiple Desitno attempts during the course of the match.
The match seemed to be paced to go long with both men seeming to know each other’s offense, but Naito managed to sneak in a quick counter when he turned a Tour of the Islands attempt from Cobb into a modified Destino. Naito then quickly secured the win with a second Destino to retain his main event spot at Wrestle Kingdom 18 where he will face IWGP World Hvt. Champion Sanada.